On July 25, 2020, police raided the headquarters of the Jordanian Teachers Union in Amman, Jordan, arrested acting chair Nasser Nawasreh and all the other members of the union’s executive board, and shut the organization down for two years. Prosecutors charged Nawasreh with incitement because of a speech he gave on July 22 criticizing the government.
The 120,000-member Teachers Union, established in 2011 following the regional Arab uprisings, is one of the few trade unions in Jordan that maintains political independence from the state. Since 2017, it has been one of the professional unions leading the struggle against austerity measures, including sharp cuts in public spending, which the government has adopted following IMF recommendations.
In September 2019, the Teachers Union mounted a month-long national strike to compel the government to deliver the 50 percent pay raise it originally promised in 2014. The government agreed, but then reneged in April when it froze all public sector pay increases due to COVID-19. The union has demanded that the government honor its previous commitment.
DSA stands in solidarity with the Jordanian Teachers Union. We demand that the Jordanian government release all union members currently being held in custody, drop all charges against members of the union, respect previous labor agreements, and allow the union to resume operations without political interference.
We invite anyone supporting the right of workers everywhere to organize freely to contact the Jordanian embassy in Washington, DC, with the above demands:
Embassy phone number: (202) 966-3110
Embassy Email: Outreach@jordanembassyu.org